Communications & Media Consumer Protection Antitrust & Trade Regulation

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“Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More”* — Doctors, Vets, and Lawyers in the Antitrust Crosshairs

Supreme Court Decision in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission Prompts Legal Challenges to State Professional Boards - Earlier this month a Texas federal district court judge granted a...more

Truth in Advertising - An Overview of Recent Contraventions of the Misleading and Deceptive Conduct Provisions of the Australian...

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) continues to focus on misleading and deceptive advertising and communication strategies adopted by businesses selling products and services as an enforcement priority....more

FTC Shuts Down a Risky Risk-Free Offer

This morning, the FTC announced that it had stopped a group of 15 companies and 7 individuals from using deceptive “risk-free trial” offers to sell skincare products online. At the Commission’s request, a federal court issued...more

Facial Recognition Technology: Social Media and Beyond, an Emerging Concern

This week, a major self-regulatory initiative intended to address privacy concerns associated with facial recognition technology hit a significant stumbling block. Nine consumer advocacy groups withdrew from the National...more

The Nuts and Bolts of Digital Advertising

“We have the best mobile app on the market!” “Subscribe now and win an Apple watch!” “Download our software and we guarantee an increase in your business within 30 days!” That all sounds quite wonderful, actually. Where do I...more

Collusion Course: The Limits of Hot Documents

Discovery in antitrust cases often involves a search for smoking-gun documents. Those documents can consist of emails proving that competitors conspired to raise prices, removing the difficulties faced by prosecutors or civil...more

FTC Clarifies Native and Online Ad Obligations

The FTC, in recent staff statements, has sought to clarify advertisers’ and publishers’ obligations regarding native advertising and social media promotions, particularly regarding when and how to clarify to readers that a...more

Free* to Play Means Only If You Pay

As online gaming companies compete for business, they are offering customers increasingly large incentives to play on their websites, often in the form of deposit bonuses. These deposit bonuses allow players to play with the...more

FTC Announces First Action Involving Crowdfunding

Last week, the FTC announced its first legal action involving crowdfunding. For those of you who don’t know, crowdfunding is the practice of raising money for a project by seeking contributions from a large number of people,...more

FTC Workshop on the Sharing Economy: Insights and Promise

Following Commissioner Ohlhausen’s opening presentation, Stanford Professor Liran Einav introduced the first morning panel. It was moderated by Nathan Wilson, Economist for the FTC’s Bureau of Economics. Panelists beyond...more

Smart ad disclosures in the social media age

Recent actions by the Federal Trade Commission highlight the need for companies to review the sufficiency of their advertising disclosures. Companies should take particular care when launching an ad campaign using social...more

Crowdfunding Project Creator Settles FTC Charges of Deception

In the FTC's first case involving crowdfunding, the agency took action against a project creator who was ostensibly raising money from consumers to produce a board game, but instead used most of the funds on himself....more

Federal Court Enjoins Texas Medical Board from Enforcing More Stringent Telemedicine Rules

On April 10, 2015, the Texas Medical Board (the “Board”) voted to adopt stricter regulations governing the practice of telemedicine, which were scheduled to go into effect June 3, 2015 (the “Revised Regulations”). The Board...more

New Insights from FTC on Its Endorsement Guides to Reflect Continued Focus on Disclosures

After the FTC revised its Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials (the “Guides”) in 2009, it followed up with a set of frequently asked questions entitled “What People Are Asking” (the “FAQs”) to address...more

FTC Sharing Economy Workshop: Ohlhausen Sets the Stage for Innovation

As we, and countless others, have previously written, peer-to-peer sharing services are transforming the world economy. As Tom Goodwin at Havas Media pointed out in March, the world’s largest taxi company owns no vehicles,...more

Getting the Deal Through - Advertising and Marketing 2015: Canada

Legislation and Regulation - What are the principal statutes regulating advertising generally? The principal federal statute regulating advertising in Canada is the Competition Act, which is a law of general...more

FTC Updates FAQs for Endorsement Guides, Offers More Guidance on Social Media and Video Endorsements

The FTC recently revised its “What People are Asking” page, a source of informal guidance relating to the FTC’s Endorsement Guides. The Endorsement Guides were last revised in 2009. The FAQ revisions are intended to address...more

Teladoc successful in thwarting new Texas telemedicine rules

We previously reported on the new telemedicine regulations adopted by the Texas Medical Board (Board), which requires that patients be seen face-to-face or in person to establish a physician-patient relationship in order to...more

Q: What’s Different About the FTC’s New Endorsement Q&As? A: Lots.

The FTC recently released a new version of its Q&As on the Endorsement Guides. The old Q&As, released in 2010, were about seven pages long. The new ones just about double that. The revisions and additions reflect many of the...more

All Eyes on Homeopathics: FTC Workshop Signals Targeted Regulatory Scrutiny of Homeopathic Products

On Tuesday, the Federal Trade Commission “FTC” announced it will be hosting a workshop in September to evaluate advertising for over-the-counter homeopathic products. Homeopathy is an alternative medicine practice dating back...more

Amendment To The FCC’s Effective Competition Rules: Implementation Of Section 111 Of STELAR

On June 2, 2015, the FCC adopted an Order implementing Section 111 of the STELA Reauthorization Act of 2014 (STELAR), which required the FCC to streamline its longstanding effective competition rules for small cable...more

Catch of the Day: Tuna Fish Brand StarKist Swims into a Sea of Trouble After Agreeing to Settle Claims Against It

StarKist Co. recently agreed in principle to a $12 million settlement with a putative class of plaintiffs concerning alleged under-filling of tuna fish cans. But agreeing on the dollar figure seems to have been the easy part;...more

FTC updates Q&A on Endorsement Guides – changes affect all types of media and endorsement: 5 takeaways

For the first time since 2009, the FTC has updated the Q&A on its Endorsement Guides. The Endorsement Guides represent administrative interpretations of laws enforced by the FTC, specifically the applicability of Section 5...more

Ad Cops After Four Decades: Report Finds Self-Regulation Works, But Popularity May Lead To Change

MCC: On April 15, a working group associated with the ABA released a report* evaluating the National Advertising Division (NAD) and the state of advertising self-regulation in the U.S. You led the group in these efforts....more

Updated FTC Guidance on Endorsements and Testimonials in Social Media Advertising – Does Your Advertising Pass Muster?

In recent years, companies have increasingly relied on social media platforms to promote their products, often featuring testimonials and endorsements from consumers and public figures as well as other user-generated content....more

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